LCQ20: Enhancing the harbourfront environment

     Following is a question by the Hon Vincent Cheng and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, in the Legislative Council today (November 1):
     It is learnt that in recent years, the Government has been actively promoting harbourfront enhancement work and committed to providing members of the public with harbourfront sites that are diversified, vibrant and accessible. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) given that the Development Bureau has earlier on proposed making use of a small amount of land along the boundary of the New Yaumatei Public Cargo Working Area (Working Area) to build a comfortable, convenient, safe and barrier-free pedestrian walkway, of the latest progress and the details of the proposal;
(2) apart from enhancing pedestrian walkway facilities, whether the authorities will consider enhancing the facilities in other harbourfront areas nearby without affecting the operation of the Working Area, such as adding pedestrian walkways and sightseeing bridges as well as beautifying breakwaters, so as to develop harbourfront areas in Yau Tsim Mong into new landmarks, and improving the accessibility of such harbourfront areas; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) as some members of the local community have relayed that the ancillary facilities of the Cheung Sha Wan Promenade are inadequate (such as a lack of water dispensers, seats and toilets), whether the authorities will consider providing more such facilities to bring a better harbourfront experience to members of the public; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) whether the authorities will consider further enhancing the facilities of the Cheung Sha Wan Promenade, including adding installation art "check-in" spots, or beautifying the harbourfront area with a theme, in order to increase the attractiveness of the promenade; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
     Following the development along the waterfront areas of Kowloon West, the Government strives to provide more diversified harbourfront facilities for public enjoyment. After consulting the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD), the Drainage Services Department (DSD) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the reply to the question is as follows:
(1) and (2) At present, the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) and the harbourfront of Tai Kok Tsui are mainly separated by the New Yau Ma Tei Public Cargo Working Area (NYPCWA). In order to improve the accessibility between the harbourfront of that area and to provide a more pleasant walking environment without affecting the operation of the NYPCWA, after discussions with departments including the CEDD, the Marine Department (MD), etc, and the NYPCWA operators, the Development Bureau (DEVB) has proposed the construction of a pedestrian walkway of about 950 metres in length along the inland boundary of the NYPCWA. The walkway will connect the existing public footpath at the entrance of the NYPCWA at Hoi Fai Road to the north, and the existing public footpath near the bus-bus-interchange at Western Harbour Crossing to the south, leading to the entrance of the WKCD. While the walkway will mainly occupy government land outside the NYPCWA, it will require a limited inland area of the NYPCWA in order to widen certain sections of the walkway to a more reasonable width. The DEVB and the CEDD briefed the Harbourfront Commission on the above proposal in April this year, and consulted the Public Cargo Working Area Committee and the Yau Tsim Mong District Council in May; and received support from these bodies.
     The CEDD will prepare for gazettal for the construction of the walkway; and the MD will co-ordinate with the industry for slightly adjusting the boundary of the NYPCWA. The Government expects that the construction works will commence within 2024, and targets to open the concerned pedestrian walkway to the public in 2026.
     Apart from the aforementioned construction of the walkway, other construction works for enhancing the harbourfront of the area include:
(3) and (4) The Cheung Sha Wan Promenade, which was raised in the question, was fully opened in July this year under the management of the LCSD. With about 1.04 hectares, it consists of a waterfront promenade and public open space including landscaped areas and lawns, and also serves as an Inclusive Park for Pets. The venue provides a water dispenser, multiple sets of arbours and seating decks, making it a pleasant and relaxing leisure space for public enjoyment. Although toilet facilities cannot be provided at the venue because of space constraints, there are toilet facilities nearby (e.g. at Hoi Ying Estate) for use by the public.
     The LCSD will carry out beautification of the Cheung Sha Wan Promenade, including placing decorations and planting special plants, and the process is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Besides, the LCSD will also consider providing decorations and art installations at the venue during festive periods to attract more visitors. The LCSD will continue to take into account public opinions. Where feasible in the actual environment, appropriate additional facilities will be provided with a view to providing a better harbourfront experience to the public.
     On the other hand, the harbourfront promenade of the hotel development project in Lai Ying Street will be opened in 2024. It is located adjacent to the Cheung Sha Wan Promenade and is constructed by a private developer. The feature of this development project includes the conversion of a disused pier into a multi-purpose open space, forming part of the harbourfront promenade. Facilities such as tables and chairs, a viewing deck and specially designed shading shelters will be provided. Besides, there will be two sets of landing steps to not only increase the vibrancy of the harbourfront, but also make it easier for the public to get closer to water. Lawns, benches, retail shops, food and beverage facilities, etc, will be provided under the development project to enhance visitors' harbourfront experience.
Ends/Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:35